Sony PlayStation 2 will launch with a pounds 20 million campaign from TBWA/London that pushes the boundaries of surreal advertising beyond the limits established by 'double life' and 'mental wealth' for the original Playstation.
The 60-second launch ad, which breaks on November 24, is directed by the Twin Peaks creator David Lynch in his trademark strange style. The black-and-white ad is filled with Lynch motifs such as reverse-recorded voices, disorientated rooms and confusing camera angles.
A suited man advances down a fire-breathing corridor, beckoned by a girl floating in outer space. Along the way he exchanges a thumbs-up with his own doppelganger and encounters a loudspeaker blaring gibberish.
In another sequence, a fast-moving object slams into the central character's mouth and emerges as a regurgitated forearm. The man follows the arm through a wall of steam and finds himself in a chequered room facing the arm, an image of himself, a fully bandaged figure with two eyes on the side of its head, and a duck wearing a suit.
The camera zooms in on the duck's head which says, 'Welcome to the third place.' A disembodied voice then shouts the endline: 'PlayStation 2 The Third Place.'
The campaign, which will run across Europe as well as Australia and New Zealand, reflects PlayStation's strategy of appealing to the experience of 'gamers'. As PS2 limbers up against Microsoft's X box and Sega's Dreamcast, it makes no mention of technical features.
'For all our competitors spec/tech is king,' the TBWA creative director, Trevor Beattie, said. 'With PS2, the experience is. We wanted to create imagery that would live with people long after the commercial break.'
The ad was written by Beattie and art directed by Bil Bungay. UK media planning and buying is by Manning Gottlieb Media.